What a wonderful eye opener this book was. If you have not read it, it is a must. I was told it was depressing but truly, it is not. Co-written by Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng , Benjamin Ajak, with Judy A. Bernstein, it is a harrowing, inspirational, and warm true story about three lost boys of Sudan who survived a remarkable flight out of a bloody battle and the civil war. I loved each chapter for it was a journey and an introduction to the boys’ childhood; it gives the reader an amazing first hand account of what it is like to grow up within the ‘Dinka’ tribe in Africa. How simple it is to own 95 cows and consider it wealthy. How brave it is for a mother to join a father in battle and how incredibly sad that the reason for this entire war is about a need for ownership of land and its people. I laughed, I cried. It was so sweet to see these boys all grown up, yet so innocent and uninhibited – which I found wonderful.
When the International Rescue Committee first brings the three boys to meet with their would-be mentor in San Diego.. I loved reading how the boys become accustomed to seat belts for the first time, going to a fast food outlet and filling their cups with soda. Yet all that aside, going through that horrible, life changing experience of seeing family and friends shot at, being told to run as fast as they could when people came to burn their homes, or to shoot at them and hurt them is heart breaking but has not left them bitter. These boys were young, incredibly young, sometimes in shock at the immense loss that surrounded them When those planes came, it just seemed like the last straw. Although they escape, It doesn’t get better, only worse, as they’re piled into camps to survive. They have to drink soapy, unclean water, and walk many miles to find respite, they are also separated from one another at heart wrenching distances. The reader can only imagine… This story inspired me to be grateful for what I have, even if it is sometimes comforting to gripe about what I don’t have. I hope you find your moment of gratitude when you read this book.